WHAT IS AN AS-IS SALE?
An "as-is" sale in real estate basically happens when the seller doesn’t want to make any repairs or give the buyer any credits or concessions. It acts as a shield for sellers to protect them against giving up any money later on during the inspection period It also relieves them of the responsibility to make repairs, should something serious come up on the home inspection.
The problem is that an as-is sale usually not compatible with most buyers if they are using mortgage. That's because even if the buyer accepts the condition of the house as-is, the buyer’s lender may request repairs as a condition for the loan, and most buyers are advised against spending money on repairing a home prior to taking ownership of it.
That's why most as-is properties are sold to cash buyers. Even still, just because the buyer is paying cash doesn't mean the transaction is truly an "as-is" sale.
A REAL as-is sale happens only when the buyer agrees to: #1 Waive all rights to inspections or forfeit the right to cancel the contract because of a home inspection issue, and #2 Incur the cost of obtaining all required town and state occupancy and fire certificates, permits etc. Only when these 2 conditions are agreed to and enforced is a home being truly sold "as-is.
This means that the buyer cannot back out of the contract no matter what he/she happens to find wrong with the home. Typically, only seasoned investors and risk-takers will purchase a property under those conditions.
WHEN TO SELL "AS-IS"
Not every property is a good candidate for an as-is sale, and because as-is homes have lower value, it's not always a good idea to sell a home this way. However, there are cases when selling “as-is” is appropriate. For example: If the home is an estate, if it’s been vacant a long time, if it needs major repairs, bad tenants, divorce, or any situation where the owner is willing to take a reduced price in exchange for a quick, hassle-free transaction.
But remember that if the home has been updated or is in otherwise very good condition, selling “as-is” is not really an advantage.